Collective is delighted to present '←Term.←Lam.←', an exhibition made by Glasgow-based artist Alex Impey as part of Satellites Programme 2017.
The title '←Term.←Lam.←' formally moves our eyes against the flow of text, with the arrows pushing against our instinct to read ‘downstream’. The word ‘term’ has multiple meanings, including being a synonym for word, a reference to a period of time, and with the addition of the full stop it creates a clipped prefix for the word ‘terminal’. ‘Lam.’ is another clipped prefix for lamb, laminae and laming. The multiplicity of meanings and readings created by the title supports the introduction of key ideas within the exhibition, such as asking what ‘terminal value’ might be, and how processes of sacrifice, displacement and exchange, structure experience.
For this exhibition, Alex will make a new sculptural installation drawing on research into animal motifs, composite materials, divination, and art history. The installation takes on a mirrored form, stretching across the gallery walls. This mirroring is informed by art historian Hubert Damisch’s observations of symmetrical forms in the early renaissance fresco Madonna del Parto by Piero della Francesca. In this fresco, Damisch notes that the two angels flanking the pregnant Madonna have been painted using a process of flipping a schematic outline of their figures, and both have a human ear shape at their stomach, traced in the folds of their gowns. This effect of warping the normal function of body-plans has been extended to the exhibition, creating two wings that highlight artifice through each side being reducible to a copy of the other.
In this mirrored format, there will be nest formations produced at a 1:1 scale made with chitin, a natural material derived from crab shells. These will be shown alongside sculptures made from black plastic and car air-ducts. Stripped of the anticipations guiding their original design, these materials create gridded forms mirroring the negative, or internal, space of the nests. The grid motif extends across the walls in drawings made with nails used to repair the hooves of lame cattle. Each material used in '←Term.←Lam.←' has multiple and particular resonances, taken from the engineering practices of animals and processes in which humankind has tried to make sense of the world, adapting nature and animals to its own needs.
Alex’s practice consists of sculptural installation and writing, which act as speculations on the production and organisation of value. Alex uses a metaphor of a hinge to describe an operation of his practice, in which artworks hinge between before (priority) and after (potentiality of experience). In this process, research is metabolised, acting to question common assumptions of how artworks can come into existence and how meaning is generated.
Alex Impey has an MFA from Glasgow School of Art, 2011 and a BA from Slade School of Fine Art, 2005. Solo exhibitions have been David Dale Gallery, Glasgow (2014), 'Orangutan', Glasgow Sculpture Studios (2012) and sic! Raum fur Kunst, Lucerne, Switzerland (2012). Group exhibitions include '2HB: What we make with words', CCA, and Transmission, Glasgow (2011). Impey was 2011-12 Glasgow Sculpture Studios Gordon Foundation Graduate Fellow.